Hopefully, you learn early in life ... that you don't walk into a dark room filled with gasoline fumes ... and light a match. It's a volatile situation.
Covering the story of two African American students videotaped repeatedly beating a Caucasian student on a bus ... was also a volatile situation.
I knew from the beginning that just telling the story was going to create strong emotions.
Some didn't think the story should be told, but the video was on the internet circling the globe. Some thought the story was being told ... only ... because two black students were attacking a white student. Still others thought if the the attackers were white and the victim black ... we would not have reported the story.
I'll make two points clear to you. First, police say that race was not a factor in the crime; I watched the video and encourage you to see it on our site; one kid is seated, another wants to sit next to him and the beating starts; were there racial remarks from one or both kids? We don't have audio, and maybe there was previous bad blood, racial tension between them, but watch the video and you will see how police arrived at their finding. The second point: that video is worthy of news coverage .. even if the attackers and victim were all one race. Granted, this kind of event happens with kids all the time, but in this case, it was captured on video.
I believe that we did a fair report on what happened. I also made sure that in each newscast that I anchored from Belleville West ... I pointed out that 2400 students at that school are doing the right thing for themselves, thier families and their school. This bus incident was a singular event carried out by just 2 of those students.
Now, with those remarks stated, I'm very interested in what you have to say. I am posting some previous comments emailed me before I could get time to write this blog.
A bus drivers job is get our kids from point A to point B and home again. We trust them to do this every year. Until something happens. Then they are usually the first person to be blamed. They don't know these kids from Adam. Yet they take them with their backs to them every day. Our drivers need more support than what they get. Cameras can only tell us what happened when and who did it AFTER the fact. Another person, maybe a monitor, would be a lot more help. They could stop whatever starts and then leave the driver to safely drive our kids. We have problems with three, four, five kids behind us in our vehicles. What can a driver do when they have 20-30 kids everyday? My daughter was a driver and she had some scary stories to tell this mother. Kids will take any opportunity given them. Put another person on the bus that isn't stuck behind the wheel and maybe these thi ngs won't happen. You'll never know if you don't try. Firing the driver isn't the answer. He did his job.
larry, enough is enough!!!!!!!! why is this incident being promoted!!!!!!!! as racial ? the media can be their our own and our worst enemy!!!!!!!!
I watched your 5pm report about the white kid getting beat up 2 black guys on the bus.
I don't know if you were trying to soothe the public or what, but your opinion about the issue being a bully issue is wrong.
This is a racial problem. I've seen this before.
Someone was wondering if the white kid said something to provoke them beating him up.
I guess that's one way to get those problem kids off the hook: blame it on the victim.
The kid would have to be retarded to say anything to provoke an incident when he is the only white kid on the bus.
And even if he was dumb enough to say something stupid, does that justify the beating he got?????
I noticed you interviewed Johnny Scott, President of the naacp. And he did not appear concerned about it.
But what if the colors were different??
If it were two white kids beating on one black kid, the naacp would have been on that bus, wanting to hang the two white kids, before the bus made the next stop.
Then it would have been a big racial issue; a hate crime, and the naacp would have wanted blood.
Those two black kids should be held on assault charges, and punished to the full extent of the law.
You can bet that's the way the naacp would want it if the colors were reversed.
This white kid is going to get harassed in school for a long time. The longer you people in the news media exploit this the worse it's going to be for him.
In fact, it may not matter, if those two guys get punished in any way, that white kid will probably get another beating, but worse.
I would also take my kid out of that school, because of possible retaliation by the black kids' friends if the two black kids do happen to get in trouble for this.
If I was the father of the kid, I would want somebody to pay for this. An apology would not pay for this hate crime.
I'll tell you right now, those two kids are going to get away with it and be able to come back and beat up some other white kid or maybe the same one.
But what does it matter; it's just a white kid that got his face punched in.
Oh by the way, don't blame the bus driver. He would have been in trouble regardless of any action he took, especially if he touched one of the black kids.
And don't say I'm racists. I just look at the things the way they are.
Please help me understand why you would report that this was not racial motivated? Why is it in today's politically correct world that racism seems only to be something that is perpetuated by white's? You seem very comfortable allowing an organization like the NAACP (not that they would have a predisposition to take one side or the other right?) to make the determination that this was not a racial hate crime. If the races of the involved parties were reversed there would be a huge upraor of indignation. If all are equal under the law why are these two not being charged with violating this other young man's civil rights. You perpetuate racism because you are too afraid to call it out for what it is and hold all individuals (regardless of their race) accountable. Why is that?